The Joyous Parental Journey

The Joyous Parental Journey

This benefit was created by parents for parents. We understand that this will be an exciting but challenging time for you - we are here to support you through it.


What is this benefit

How this benefit supports you

How to access this benefit

People leader guidelines

What is this benefit

Additional support and flexibility for people with children.

This benefit was created by parents for parents. We understand this will be an exciting but challenging time for you. We’re here to support you through it.

How this benefit supports you

For new parents

Your government may offer support for new parents:

Joyous offers further support in addition to any government support you may receive:

Six weeks of paid parental leave

You can use this flexibly, in whatever way suits you and your family.

Flexible contact

You decide how you’d like to stay in touch during extended leave. If you’d prefer not to hear from us during this time, that’s perfectly okay.

Reduced hours for six months, on full pay

You can return to work for 30 hours a week, in a flexible way that suits you and your family.

Flexible return

If you realise you’ve come back a bit too soon, you can go back on leave and return later.

Unlimited special leave for six months

You won’t have to use your own sick or annual leave to take care of a sick child, and you'll still get paid. This leave is available for your first six months after returning to work, or for six months after your new child arrives - whatever works best for you.

For all parents

In addition to your standard sick leave Joyous offers additional special leave for children: five days of special leave per child, per year

We know that children get sick - a lot - and we don't want you to use your own sick leave up on your kids. So, for each child 13* years old or younger, you will receive an additional five days of special leave to use when your child is sick. This leave does not accrue from year to year.

  • Why 13? In New Zealand children it’s an offense for children under 14 to be left unsupervised: if they’re home sick it’s expected someone will be there with them. Obviously if your older child is seriously unwell and you can’t leave them alone, we will support you. Just have a chat with your leader.

How to access this benefit

New parent support

This is available to people who have worked for Joyous for at least one year prior to parental leave starting.

This support is available to all parents: biological and adoptive, whether you’re the primary caregiver or not. You get the same support from Joyous.

Applying for new parent leave

  • Provide evidence of your estimated due date from your midwife or obstetrician, or adoption certificate if applicable.
  • We may also be required to complete the forms required by your government, if applicable.

This policy acts in accordance with the following laws:

All parent support

This is available to all parents at Joyous.

We simply require proof that you have a human child (sorry but cats, dogs and chickens don't count, though they are awesome and you are awesome for loving them). A birth certificate or adoption certificate will do. Or heck, bring the kids in and introduce them to us.

People leader guidelines

If you lead parents, please be empathetic. Being a parent is one of the most stressful periods in any person's life, particularly in the early days. Knowing that a leader understands this and is supportive makes a difference to a parent's mental health and well-being during this challenging time.

Supporting a new parent as they prepare to go on leave

Send a Preparing to become a new parent survey around three months before the child is due to arrive. This will explore leave timing, flexibility and duration, allowing us to arrange cover and support the new parent according to their needs.

Schedule a dedicated catch-up about preparing to become a new parent. Give the new parent a chance to discuss any thoughts, concerns or questions they may have.

It is important that you continue to offer support and be flexible about any special appointments or concerns the new parent may have.

Arrange a shower before the new child is due to arrive. The parent may suggest an ideal time for this in the survey.

Keeping in touch while the new parent is on leave

Reach out and congratulate the new parents once the child has arrived.

We will send a $250 My Food Bag voucher or pre-made meals (depending on the parents preference) and a survival pack around three weeks after the new child arrives.

Be conscious of not overwhelming the parent with too much contact from Joyous. It’s particularly important to limit contact to the occasional friendly check-in in the first few months.

Ensure new parents are always informed of and invited to company events. Make it clear that these invites are optional.

For parents taking extended leave we will send a Keeping in Touch survey around three months after the child arrives. This is so that we can offer our support, and give the parent the option of remaining connected to Joyous in their own way. You are responsible for acting on the information we receive from this survey.

Salary reviews should continue as normal and not be deferred. If a parent receives a salary increase while on leave you should inform them at the time.

Supporting parents as they return from leave

Parents returning from leave will receive a Returning to work survey one month prior to their return.

Please arrange a catch up with all parents a week or two ahead of their return, on the day of their return, and additional weekly catch ups for the first month of their return.

Try not to assign recently returned parents critical tasks for the first three months. If this can’t be avoided, please ensure they are paired with another person who can support them.

Consider the parent's mental well-being one month after return, three months, and six months. If you have any concerns, please offer them access to our free counselling service.

Supporting all parents

Parents with children of all ages may require additional flexibility, particularly when children are unwell or during school holidays. They may also want the flexibility to attend appointments, assemblies, performances, prize-givings etc. It’s up to you how you manage these requests, but Joyous doesn’t require people to be in the office 9-5 five days a week. Use your best judgement and stay empathetic!

Parental Journey Surveys

Preparing to become a new parent survey

Keeping in touch survey

Returning to work survey

Related Articles

Stuff Article - This article highlights what other companies in NZ do on top of government support and provides interesting information on number of employees that take parental leave.

Impact on future earnings for mothers - For every month partners have paid parental leave, mothers' future earnings rise by 7% (when child aged 4).

Gender gap in Tech - NZ Tech talks about the gender pay gap in New Zealand

The Joyous Parental Journey is an open source project, governed by the CC0 1.0 Universal License. Author: Ruby Kolesky. Contributors: Michael Carden, Katie Williams, Philip Carden, Karen Rayner.

While attribution is not required to use the content, the project contributors would appreciate a mention when this work is used in any commercial or public situation. Suggested attribution: Based on The Joyous Parental Journey.

This is still a work in progress. If you would like to find out more or contribute to the project's development reach out to CC0 1.0 Universal License